Perched just up the hill from the white sands of Oneroa Beach on Waiheke Island (fast becoming “Foodie Island”), the Boatshed fulfills the wainscoted, shuttered, pitch-roofed holiday images that dwell in the minds of beach lovers the world over. Originally the vacation cottages of designer David Scott, the Boatshed now offers six sun-drenched accommodations that complement the laid-back island vibe—a magnet for a free-spirited set of artists, vintners, chefs, and water lovers. Many furnishings were custom-designed by the Scott family and exude the feeling of a boat cabin, especially when placed among the built-in shelves and cabinetry of the bachs—the local word for an authentic New Zealand beach shack. Accommodations range from old boat sheds to a three-story tower that feels like a lighthouse, and outdoor decks provide many opportunities to enjoy the sea breeze. The boutique hotel was the realization of Daniel Scott’s dream—to share the simple pleasures of the beach life with travelers from around the globe.
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Waiheke Island is an artist colony turned food-and-wine destination, but its hippie roots remain. The experience is authentic New Zealand, which means down-to-earth and laid-back. The Boatshed is a short walk from Oneroa Village, a strip of cafés, galleries, ice cream parlors, and home decor shops fronted by a white-sand beach that meets a beautiful turquoise bay. Some of the best winetasting rooms and restaurants, including Cable Bay Vineyard, Mudbrick Restaurant, and the Oyster Inn, are within a 10-minute drive.
Need to Know
Rooms: 5 rooms, 2 bungalows, 1 new cottage coming in 2015. From $369, including breakfast and island transfers. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11:30 a.m. Dining options:The hotel’s extensive gardens provide vegetables and herbs to bring out the flavors of the best local meats and fish the Boatshed staff can get their hands on. Morning coffee comes from Roast Waiheke, a local boutique roaster, and most everything—save for the breads from Waiheke’s Ringawera bakery—is cooked in-house, family-style. Spa and gym details:Spa treatments, like the hot oil head massage, are offered in-room with advance bookings. Outdoor activities from hiking to kayaking are offered all over the island.
Who's it best for: Design-minded couples wanting a relaxing food-and-beach holiday. Our favorite rooms: The three-story Lighthouse Suite has a first-floor bedroom along with a separate lounge and dining room. The vibe is youthful Nantucket, featuring wooden boats, glass bottles, seashells, and binoculars that allow guests to act like lightkeepers. A private elevator allows staff to take deliveries to the top floor—like a romantic meal for two. Table with a view:There’s no better experience than dining alfresco at the ocean-view garden table next to an open fire.